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Maintenance of Health and Prevention of Diseases:

To preserve the active lifestyle of your pets, it is important that their digestive system and immune system remain healthy. Probiotic bacteria play an important role in the prevention and treatment of several health conditions. Boosting immune system and promoting healthy digestive system are two of their most widely studied merits. Apart from these, they have many other beneficial health effects as well.

Several studies have shown the role of probiotics in preventing and treating diarrhea from a variety of causes, preventing allergies like eczema etc., reducing bad cholesterol (LDL) levels and blood pressure, decreasing the symptoms of several bowel disorders including inflammatory bowel diseases, losing weight, and in reducing the risk of production of cancerous cells and killing the ones that have already grown.

These beneficial effects of probiotics are not limited to human beings only, but animals can also benrfit from  the use of probiotics. They are believed to enrich the overall health of animals by balancing the microbial colony in their gut [1].

Probiotics also bring betterment in some mental health conditions as shown in studies conducted on humans and animals [2].

Incorporation of food items rich in probiotics in the daily diet of your pet:
Increases their vigor, strength and overall level of activity
Ensures they remain in good health
Enables them to enjoy their complete life span with you

Digestive health issues are among the top 10 reasons pets are taken to the vets by their owners. Like humans, animals also go through series of stressful events every day. Stress takes its toll on their digestive health eventually affecting their overall health.

Probiotics – Supplements vs Natural Sources:
Feeding pets probiotics has gained a lot of attention and it is increasing over time as new researchers are continuously proving their incredible effects in humans and in animals. Vets all over the world are admitting beneficial effects probiotics can have on your pet. Not just the prevention of digestive problems, but they are also incredibly helpful for the prevention of diseases such as cancer. There is a great possibility that probiotics will soon be used as a therapeutic tool by health practitioners.

Probiotics can be taken in the form of supplements or through probiotic rich food items. However, the natural sources of probiotics maintain an upper hand when it comes to delivering their complete benefits.

According to studies, around 100 million to 1 billion bacteria are required per serving to attain the desired benefits, and most of the supplements fail to supply this required number of bacteria. In addition to this huge amount, a variety of strains of bacteria are also required to get the desired results. Some of the most beneficial bacteria for pets include Lactobacillus acidophilus, Enterococcus faecium, Bifidobacterium lactis, Lactobacillus casei and Bifidobacterium breve. These are naturally found in the gut of canines and when their colonies are maintained by external aid, incredible outcomes are ensured.

Studies show that supplements fail to supply all these bacteria in required amounts therefore failing to deliver the benefits. Also, as the supplement container lies on the shelf, some of the bacteria naturally die out reducing the number and types of bacteria available to your pet.  

On the other hand, natural sources rich in probiotics, contain several other elements that add-on the benefits and have proven to be more helpful than the supplements alone. Some natural sources of Probiotics include yoghurt, kefir, dark chocolate, miso soup, kombucha, pickles, sauerkraut and sauerkraut kvass. However, dairy products may not be the best choice for your pet. Animals like dogs and cats often become lactose intolerant after they have been weaned off their mother’s milk. Feeding them milk products can cause indigestion, diarrhea, flatulence and even vomiting. It is better to feed them vegetable based products such as sauerkraut and sauerkraut kvass.

Sauerkraut contains probiotics that act as the first line of defense against toxins and harmful bacteria. They also improve your pet’s digestive system and overall health [4][5][6].

According to a research, one serving of sauerkraut may have up to 28 different strains of bacteria. [7]

As cabbage is the main ingredient of sauerkraut, it also contains several other healthy compounds such as vitamin C and K, antioxidants, iron, and dietary fiber. It has the ability to prevent tumor development and consequently cancer in humans as well as animals. [8]

Sauerkraut kvass, also known as Sauerkraut juice or Cabbage kvass, is another beneficial probiotic rich source for your pet. As suggested in recent studies, sauerkraut kvass may help in preventing cancer development by reducing the production of carcinogen-activating enzymes. [9]

Feeding Your Pet Probiotic Rich Food:
Most of the sauerkraut brands available in market contain additives and preservatives which are not good for your pet. If you are feeding them sauerkraut or sauerkraut kvass, make sure it is raw (not pasteurized) and fermented (not in vinegar brine). At Hampton’s Brine, all our products are 100% organic and safe to be consumed by your pet. Organic feremented sauerkraut even surpasses raw cabbage when it comes to health benefits for you and your pet.

It can be very challenging at first to make your pet eat sauerkraut. Cats and dogs can be very picky in what they eat.

Start with small amount of sauerkraut. Mix it in their regular food or other food items they particularly enjoy. Start with a spoonful or two and increase the amount every day.

Try concealing small amounts of probiotics-rich food in a more treating and delicious looking food, in this way there will be higher chances that your pet will consume it without rejecting.

Sprinkle some kvass on their regular food

You can also add a spoonful of kvass to their drinking water

If the above mentioned or other methods are not helping you, try taking help from a veterinarian. He will have other suggestions.

When it comes to probiotics, amount matters much less than consistency. Make sure you are feeding them every day even if in not very great amounts.

Sources:
[1] https://www.omicsonline.org/open-access/the-use-of-probiotics-in-animal-nutrition-2329-8901-1000132.php?aid=59945
[2]  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27413138
[3] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3833126/
[4] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4058509/
[5] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19584499
[6] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15481739
[7] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12788716
[8] http://www.koreascience.or.kr/article/ArticleFullRecord.jsp?cn=SPOOBG_2016_v45n5_671[9] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22173777